Need advice on Normandy/Loire Valley

Dec 31st, 2011, 04:39 PM
  #1  
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Need advice on Normandy/Loire Valley

I am trying to get a trip organized for this May for France. I am flying into Paris (don't plan on visiting the city this trip-have done so before) I am interested Normandy and the Loire Valley for this trip. I know I can't see everything in the limited time I have so I was hoping some of you kind folks could give your thoughts on what cities to base in and how long to linger in each area. I arrive on May 11 and will depart Paris on May 26. I do plan on renting a car for ease in getting around. Thanks for your help.
cathy52 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 05:14 PM
  #2  
 
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Bayeux might be a good base for Normandy--Almost anything in lower Normandy (south of the Seine) is within an easy drive.

Amboise is a good centrally located town for the Loire valley. Visit the chateau of Angers and its tapestries on your way to the Loire valley.
Michael is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 05:29 PM
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In that time you should be able to see a lot. Since you will have a car consider staying in one or more private chateaux for a really unique experience. We stayed at the Chateau de Reaux near Chinon for 5 nights and saw a pack of chateau, including a son et lumiere as well as Fontrevauld Abbey and a host of other places. We especially liked the dinner en famille which they do 2 or 3 nights a week. Fascinating to have a meal with almost all ingredients coming from the estate as well as the chance to talk with guests from Canada, Australia, Argentina and Russia.

Do check out the options - there are a lot of them and most are quite modestly priced (Unless you want the truly upscale resort variety).
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 06:16 PM
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What a lovely trip you will have!

We have stayed in Bayeux twice (at the Hotel Churchill both times) and it is an excellent base for seeing Normandy. We drove as far as Mont St. Michel and it was a pretty easy drive once we figured out the round abouts. Wish we had visited Honfleur while we were there.

We have been twice to the Loire and chose a town stay and chateau stay. Le Vieux Manoir in Amboise was lovely as was the Chateau de Rochecotte. As NYTraveller mentioned at both locations we met guests from many countries. At the Rochecotte a young woman from Japan played piano in the lounge one evening while other guests enjoyed her playing. The staff at the Rochecotte were wonderful and they had the best baguettes in France.
Scootoir is offline  
Jan 1st, 2012, 04:57 PM
  #5  
Ivy
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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We stayed in Dinan in Normandy, which also allowed us to go into Brittany, which you may not want to do on this trip due to time. We adored Normandy. We also did Loire but on a different trip - we LOVE touring chateaux and so we spent a lot of time in Loire and loved every minute of it. It was a couple of years ago but we stayed at some fantastic chateaux B and Bs, all Karen Brown recommendations and had a fantastic time. you will love both of these areas.
Ivy is offline  
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